Digital Leading and Learning

Be a Nowist AND a Futurist

One thing that everyone seems to be able to agree on is that the world (specifically the technological world) is changing quickly, and it is important to embrace it. Innovation is all around us, and it is seen in many different forms. I really liked what Joi Ito says about power and how these innovations are being developed by everyday people because the power to initiate something is available to everyone thanks to the Internet. This is where I often find myself torn in a similar way to the “college isn’t for everyone” topic.

I agree that all people need to have innovative abilities; they need to be able to solve problems with available resources whether in their professions or personal lives. Where I struggle is when certain ideas or methods are pushed on entire groups. For example, we keep trying to help students understand that college isn’t for everyone (and I agree!), but in the process I have heard an increasing number of students say it isn’t for them simply because they don’t feel like it. I am in no position to say what they should or shouldn’t do, but now that I am getting older and my first few years of students are getting older, I am finding them stuck in an unhappy world because they didn’t know how to escape after taking a comfortable road with an excitingly new (but low) paycheck.

Speeches like Ito’s and the Nowist ideals are great but slightly misleading. Most people who follow his educational path often struggle to make ends meet. Innovating is similar, in my opinion. I often encourage creativity within my classroom and in my personal life, but it is still important for them to learn the basics. They still need to learn how to read and write effectively. They still need to learn how to do the less romantic aspects of life. They still need to learn to plan ahead, but they also need to live in the “Now.” Life is all about balance, and I think that is an important notion to teach our students. Focus on today and don’t plan everything but make sure you do have a plan for success and happiness in the future.

This was all pretty jumbled as I am still struggling with what I truly believe is best for education, but I guess I feel that way because I fear my students will simply choose a path because they are being funneled that way…no matter what that way might be.

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